Impact Story: Restoring Trails with AmeriCorps Members from NY-NJ Trail Conference

Participants featured in this story are supported by AmeriCorps.

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Morris County Fall Crew spent the months of November and December 2021 working on the Blue Trail at Schooley’s Mountain Park in Long Valley, NJ. The AmeriCorps members were tasked with installing stone stairs to improve a section of the Blue Trail. The existing stretch of trail, located next to a popular waterfall destination, was extremely steep and eroded, making it difficult for hikers to traverse.

Stone for the staircase was quarried from the surrounding hillside and split on site. A total of 22 stone stairs were installed, with two additional steps carved into the bedrock. The crew also closed off a stretch of unofficial trail above the existing trail that hikers were frequently mistakenly walking up.

Feedback from passing hikers was overwhelmingly positive. Many said they looked forward to returning with pets or family members who had previously been unable to hike there. Overall, this project was an excellent learning experience for the crew and allowed them to continue to hone their stone working skills.